Disclaimer: The Universe and Bobby, Hank
McCoy, Moira McTaggert, Emma, Remy and the rest of the X-people belong
to Marvel. Noami Chandler belongs to me. I ain't making any money,
Note: Yes, this is a self-insertion. But hopefully a funny
one. Third one in the Desperate
Times, Ramen Noodles/Winning Bets series.
Other Note: Brucha, Lynx, Diamonde, Persephone, Crantz and
Alara all had input into the explanation of mutation and Legacy. I
cannot thank them enough.
The Land of the Beautiful People
It was early morning. All right, it was extremely early, but due
to a genetic flaw in the preparation gene, I had left all my packing
to the last minute. So, there I was at five a.m. trying to get all
the various crap I'd accumulated in the last few months into the suitcases
I'd brought with me when I'd come to New York. It wasn't working.
Fortunately during the time I'd also accumulated several of those
big red and blue nylon bags that I'd been using to haul laundry in.
By eight that morning I'd managed, by dint of sitting on things to
squash them that little bit smaller, to fit away my clothes. That
left me two hours to get the rest of my stuff together before Henry
arrived to take me to my new place.
All things considered it was probably a good thing that I was rushed
that morning. Too rushed, in fact, to go into screaming hysterical
panic about the move itself. Some things had apparently come up and the
planned visit to the Xavier Institute the previous week had had to be
cancelled unexpectedly. So I was going cold. Aside from my boss, I'd
only met one other person who lived there, a guy called Robert Drake who
thought I was a raving lunatic. The Institute apparently had a whole
heap of mutants, which wasn't so bad, but I was mortally afraid of
insulting someone by staring. Or by breaking some unknowable etiquette
rule, as I'd done several times when I first started working for Henry.
Americans are weird like that. For starters, I'd nearly gotten eaten
alive when I called a guy from some southern state a yank. It means
something else here, I found, than simply 'Statesider'. He told me
about it. In long detail.
However, right now my biggest anxiety and one I hadn't thought of before
I'd accepted the job offer, was that now I'd be working with Henry and
he'd be right there to see any idiot mistakes I happened to make.
In order to distract myself more I went to have a shower and had to dig
through some bags and repack them when I realised that I'd already put
away all of the towels. Then I had what was probably the most relaxing
job. Alphabetising my books and putting them away in boxes. I'd left
that till last for that very reason.
As a parting gift, and really the nicest thing they could have given me
on my last day of work, the bike went missing, in its place a shiny,
though obviously fairly inexpensive, new bicycle. It was the best thing
they could have given me. Much better than a mug.
Somehow, miraculously, I was all finished by the time that Henry arrived
to help me shift my stuff. What wasn't so good was that he'd brought
Robert. I was dressed presentably, if kinda dusty from sitting on the
floor, and I waved them both into my tiny apartment.
"Felicitous morning, Naomi," Henry said.
There is something innately reassuring about a boss who seems so happy
to be friendly. "Heya, Henry. Pardon the boxes, but I'm moving today."
Robert's eyes went wide. "Really? Damn, maybe we should come back some
Henry looked mournful. "You must excuse the rambunctious attitude of my
colleague, Naomi. He is here to assist in the portage of your
I waved an arm at the inelegant pile of vulgarly bright bags. "As you
see all my stuff is here."
Instantly both men's faces wrinkled up. "This is all of it?"
Suddenly worried that some had disappeared I checked again. Two
suitcases and a backpack, two big tacky bags, one for linen and other
bits and pieces. A box of kitchen stuff, the food given to the guy
up-stairs who ate everything, and as a student gleefully took any
freebies he could. Three other fruit-boxes with the books. "Yup,
that's all. Why?"
Robert turned to Henry. "You know what? I think this is the least
amount of stuff I've ever seen any woman who wasn't Marrow own."
Embarrassed I shrugged. What can you say to that? I've only been
in the country and earning money for a couple of months, and I keep
forgetting to go shopping because I hate it? Instead I shrugged
again. "Let's get this stuff moved, 'kay?"
Bobby went to pick up one of the boxes. He didn't know that it was
chock-full of books, so it looked like he strained something as he came
across the unexpected weight.
"What the hell?"
"Er ... That one and those other two have books. They're kinda heavy."
He set his jaw, looking down at the inoffensive box like it was his
worst enemy. "I'd noticed."
He must have been very strong though, because on his next attempt he
managed it very easily. I grabbed the backpack and the linen bag, I
started downstairs, suddenly too nervous to speak.
Bobby tapped his fingers on the steering wheel, and caught a glimpse of
Naomi and Hank talked in the other car. They'd barely needed the two
cars for the small amount of stuff she had. He was suddenly unsure
about this whole thing. People were seldom brought into Xavier's
Mansion without some warning about what they were going to see. Or even
Still, she was being paid well and she'd better help Hank, otherwise all
his conniving would come to nothing. Anyway, it'd be interesting to
help her move in.
Keeping up any conversation with Henry wasn't as hard in my nervous
state as I thought it might be. Mostly because he's a very good talker
on his own. So he chattered away as I sat there scrunching up the front
of my shirt between sweaty palms. I didn't know what scared me more,
the thought of meeting all these new people, or of the kind of work I
was supposed to do.
We turned into a driveway, with automatic gates, then a little later
rolled out outside this honest-to-god mansion. Suddenly, I knew exactly
what was freaking me out. This place was a palace!
Henry got out, still talking, acting like this was nothing was out of
the ordinary. It was then I realised that this was the College and not
some random millionaire's house we'd stopped at to use the bathroom.
That wasn't very likely, true, but more likely than me living in a
mansion like that. I surreptitiously looked around to see where my hovel
would be located, but there wasn't any in sight. Must be around the
back so as not to spoil the splendour.
"Mayhap I will escort you to your rooms, and then assist in the
relocation of your belongings, then perhaps you would like to come to
lunch and meet with some of the other residents of these hallowed halls
of learning?" he said, in his inimitable way.
I think I about managed a mute nod, still looking at the huge building.
Robert, and I really must remember to call him Bobby, turned up then,
and offered his assistance with, I noticed, the suitcases not the boxes
Inside was even more amazing than the outside, all old-looking and
clean. I was beginning to get nervous about some friends' warning about
living with weirdos, because people who lived like this must be
different from me. Luckily my room was fairly small and
inconspicuous, which made me feel a little better although I noticed I
was going to have to get some more bookshelves.
It didn't take long to get my stuff into my room and Bobby hung around
with an expectant look on his face, like he was waiting for me to do
something funny. I couldn't resist doing the traditional bounce on the
bed, everyone knows you have to do that when you get a new bed, but I
did glare at him for a bit. It's rude to look at people like that.
I adjusted the boxes moving them around with my feet for a while hoping
to look too busy too go downstairs and meet the other residents, but I
think Henry noticed. He glanced at a clock, muttered something about
not being late for food, though much longer words and basically pushed
me downstairs in front of him, briefly through a bathroom to wash up,
and then into a room filled with ... Them. Which was exactly when I
realised that this job was going to have more complications than I'd
Not only had I wandered into the mystical world of better homes and
gardens, with stunning carpets, vast expanses of beautifully shined
wooden table and perfectly arranged painting and vases, but I suddenly
found myself surrounded by what seemed like dozens of the Beautiful
Being a girl who'd always read a lot I'd considered many times in my
rather confused childhood what it would be like to be taken by the
Little People. Being sadly practical even then, I had come to the
conclusion that it would probably be fairly horrible, what with the
banging my head on doors and the problems of accidentally standing on my
hosts and so on. I'd made sufficient contingency plans, like knee-pads
for walking on, and a cushion to sit on, that I knew if I was ever taken
I'd be okay for a while, though.
However, I had never, not once in all my imaginings, considered that I
would ever find myself in the land of the Beautiful People. So, I
didn't have any contingency plans for such an eventuality.
An oversight I really, really, really regretted as I met what I suddenly
realised were the rest of the X-Men.
Betsy strolled into the kitchen, drawn mostly by a vague curiosity about
this woman who was supposed to be assisting Hank in the laboratory with
whatever it was that had him working there all the time. She stood just
in the lee of the door for a minute, and scanned the room. Yes, the
newcomer had just entered. With practised ease she slid into the new
::Paper bag! I need a big paper bag!::
Betsy blinked, and leaned over so she could see the girl in question.
She was nodding at Rogue, smiling cheerfully.
::My GOD, where do they get these people ... If I looked, would I find an
air inlet valve?:: Came the slightly frantic mental voice.
Betsy subdued a smile easily, and watched as Hank introduced the girl to
Ororo. She settled comfortably against the doorframe, watching and
listening to the double show.
"Please to meet you," Ororo smiled benignly on the girl. "We've been
looking forward to your arrival."
::Oh, Christ:: "You were? My goodness." ::Oh, Lordy, they were LOOKING
FORWARD to this? What's going on?:: "I'm honoured to meet you. This
is a lovely College." The new girl, Naomi, smiled. ::She's a doll!
She's like one of those porcelain dolls I thought were too prissy ...
But for real.::
Kitty stepped forward. "Hi, I'm Kitty Pryde, resident computer wiz.
Any questions about the system, ask me. You can ask some of these
others, but they really don't know what they're talking about.
Naomi grinned back. ::Hey, she's not so bad. Maybe I could have
eye-holes in the paper bag.:: "Hey. I'll have to try really hard to
remember your name then." Her smile kind of solidified on her face as
Gambit stepped forward and took her hand.
"And I am Remy LeBeau," he announced, touching his lips to her hand.
::Oh my. Ohmyohmy! What is he doing? What the? What kinda a weirdo is
Betsy's grin grew wider as Naomi blinked bemusedly at Remy.
"Er ... hi. Naomi. Is my name. Um." ::Oh, dear lord, don't let him be one
of those guys who thinks all he has to do is flutter his eyelashes
and ... He did it! He fluttered! I saw it, there was distinct fluttering.
Why do they always do this, when they know I'm a short, pudgy chick
that they'll be ignoring in no time? Dammit!::
Remy looked up smiling at the newcomer, and was surprised to see her
face a careful blank. Before he could say anything, Hank passed on to
the last person in the room. "And this, Naomi, is old of my oldest
colleagues, Warren Worthington III."
::He's blue. He's gorgeous. He's got wings. Dammit, forget about the
Betsy smothered her smile once more and stepped forward, a slinking
feline figure, and as Naomi caught sight of her, and her mind went into
::Just whip me out a body-bag, boys, I won't be needing anything else
for my stay here.::
It was a fairly busy week for the X-Men, so I managed to avoid then
without too much difficulty as I got used to my way around the Mansion,
or at least the bit that was between my room, the kitchen, the bathrooms
and the laboratory. However, on the Friday, I finally ended a
conversation I'd been having with myself for some days now, and wandered
into the office where Henry was poring over some results.
"Errr, Henry?" I asked quietly, wussing out at the last minute, and
happy to leave if he didn't hear me.
"Yes, Naomi?" he said, turning around and looking at me even, leaving
his results on the desk. Damn! This meant I'd have to keep going.
I took a deep breath, and tugged a piece of paper out of my lab coat
pocket. "I've ... Listen, I really like the set up here, and it's a
great opportunity, but..." I think he was beginning to think I was
insane, actually, and if I kept not finishing my sentences, he'd also
think I was a moron.
"Are you saying you aren't happy here?" he asked, big eyes peering over
little-old-man-glasses in concern.
I blinked at him, suddenly aware that he was getting totally the wrong
impression. "Oh, no I don't want to quit! Hell no, I love this job,
and I, it's really cool, and I'm sure I'll figure out exactly what that
buzzing noise is coming from in no time and..." He was looking at me
oddly again. I took a deep breath, and suppressed the urge to demand
that he forget about this and let me start the conversation again.
"Okay, it's just that, well, there's a few things I've noticed about the
lab, and the health and safety system here."
Henry blinked at me earnestly. "Health and safety?"
I retreated behind my piece of paper for support. "Yeah. Um ... Like
no eating in the lab, and the labcoats and gloves used when appropriate.
Labelling of all the reagents and a list of ways to clean up the spills
of the chemicals, or if there's a poisoning. And there really should be
a shower, a fire-blanket, extinguisher, flammable chemical cupboard and
an eyewash. We should definitely have an area separate for working with
the gel electrophoresis, also with the virus, tissue culture, 'cause
you've got some contamination and you need some benchcoat to put down on
the benches to mop up any spills. Also, some hibiclens, or whatever
handwash kills the most bugs. And you really shouldn't be sleeping in
the lab, that's just dangerous." I paused and took a deep breath, then
peeked at Henry over the paper.
He was sitting there with the strangest look on his face. I cringed a
little waiting for his response.
The pause stretched. Oh gods, this time I really was going to be fired.
Maybe I should have just ignored the things. I shuddered mentally at
the thought of the time I'd caught Henry eating some particularly
American creamy snack as he surveyed blood-films through a microscope.
Uncovered blood-films. That was just icky. No, I'd had to say
something. However, it now looked like I'd fried Henry's brain, the way
he was just sitting there now. He blinked occasionally, but mostly he
just sat. A minute later, I was getting worried. Surely I hadn't
broken Henry McCoy, I mean what would I do? How would I tell the world
that I'd broken the famous Dr Henry McCoy? No one would ever forgive
me. Worse, a whole bunch of the people who wouldn't forgive me were
armed, or at least dangerous semi-terrorists. I didn't really need this
to end my week.
Finally Henry sat back and a slow, but incredibly wide, smile crept
across his face. He sat back in his chair. "You've thought this
through?" he asked.
I nodded dumbly. I was sure that I could think of more things, but
right now I didn't want to accidentally break Henry again. He was
smiling more now and it was getting more and more worrying. This was
getting all weird.
He leaned forward suddenly, startling me, and grabbed the piece of
paper, which he took his time perusing. I waited, again. There were
way too many silences in this conversation for me to be comfortable
I was just getting mesmerised by the pattern that his screen-saver on
the office computer was making when he spoke, waking me up from my
"Naomi, I'd like you to implement all of these things," he said, his
tone very reasonable. And there he stopped. For a man who usually had
a lot to say, that seemed very ... minimal, but I was happy to let it go
at that. I could feel my eyebrows going up and a tiny nervous twitch at
my lips that might be mistaken for a smile.
Henry's smiled extend, and he bared more teeth. "However, I'm sure you
know how much work will have to go into this. You may regret pointing
out how blithely I've been ignoring these procedures."
With a sudden flash of the more horrible kind, I suddenly realised what
this would entail. At the very least, days of paperwork. At the most,
days of paperwork. I groaned and put my hands over my face. "Who's
stupid idea was this anyway?" I whined.
Henry just laughed, but it was a cheerful laugh.
There was something comforting about the way that the same sorts
of people pop up no matter where you are. Bobby was one of those types.
No matter where you are, there's going to be a Bobby type. Thanks
to the fact that I've got brothers like him, he was probably the only
person in the college I wasn't either employed by or intimidated by.
Which was why, on my second Sunday morning at Xavier's I was sitting
eating a banana, sipping hot chocolate (and only occasionally
dipping the banana in the drink) chatting about how we thought that
any Pokemon that sets Ash on fire every so often can't be all bad.
I was getting all comfortable, because who's going to come into the
kitchen on a Sunday morning? That was at least my sixth mistake. Just
after I managed to dribble chocolate down the front of my shirt (of
course) and was waving around a half-eaten banana with brown liquid
dripping from it, and proclaiming that I didn't care if Brock was a
cartoon character, he could cook and sew and was therefore my soul mate,
when she walked in. 'She' being some blonde woman in, wait for it,
white lingerie. The whole thing: bodice, garters and white fuck-me
boots. I froze naturally enough, as she walked in with that walk that
can apparently only be walked by women in lingerie and boots. My jaw
dropped open (exposing half-chewed banana to the world) and I could only
sit there and watch her. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw that Bobby
was doing pretty much the same thing. The Woman In White, who I was
willing to bet had never spilt hot chocolate down her cleavage, or at
least not by accident, walked that walk over to the coffee, poured a cup
then smiled at Bobby. Her voice was smooth as she spoke, the first
words since she'd come in the room.
"Good morning, Robert." Then she left again, leaving Bobby and I
I recovered a little faster than Bobby, and sank lower in my chair.
"It's not fair! Let me guess, she was a model too. I never met any
models before I came here, and now they're popping out of the bloody
woodwork. Is there a conspiracy to make me feel small and dumpy and ...
Bobby popped out of his vague stare with a start. "Wha?"
I decided to be gentle on him. Seeing something like that can take it
out of a boy. "Who was that, Bobby?"
Bobby finally dragged his eyes away from the doorway. "That was the
great Emma Frost."
I looked at him blankly, not having a clue what he was talking about.
Bobby blinked. "You know. Emma Frost. Of Frost Enterprises."
"Nope. Dunno that either. What's Frost Enterprises?" His eyes got
wider as I admitted what appeared to be my shameful ignorance.
"The company? Big, lotsa money..." Bobby did the 'are you an idiot'
look and scaled down his explanation. "You know money, right?"
I had to hit him for that one. "Yeah, I know money. Okay, she runs
some big company. But what's she doing here?"
Again with the look. "Because she's the headmistress of the high
What can you do, I ask you? The woman is a head of a major corporation,
and a school. "She probably cooks too." I muttered miserably. There
was something about these people that was horrible to your self-esteem
if you weren't 'super'.
Bobby laughed suddenly. "She can't cook to save herself, from what
Jubes has told me," he said.
I decided to let this 'Jubes' go. My life was complicated enough just
trying to keep up with the people who lived at the college without
trying to figure out the rest of the connections. Besides, when you get
right down to it, it's probably unwise to find out too much. I shook my
head at Bobby.
"I don't think that you understand. I mean you're used to these people.
It's just it feels weird." I couldn't possibly explain this to Bobby,
who'd lived here for years. It wasn't only that I was surrounded by
beautiful, dangerous people. It was that most of them were smart and
rich too. It was like someone had collected the people who were most
like to make me self-conscious, put them all in the one spot and let me
loose. That being all that you'd have to do, because like most people,
the more I was around people like that the more I managed to do things
that proved exactly how much of a loser I was.
Like that Remy guy. Let me put this simply. He has one of the nicest
bodies I have met. Ever. Even counting some of my gay friends, who
naturally have great bodies because they're just like that. He's a
gorgeous guy. With a cool accent. Of course, I decided about two
minutes into my introduction to the people here at Xavier's that I
wasn't even going to think about lusting after these people. They are
so much out of my league that it hurt.
I managed to avoid them mostly. Sitting quietly at meal, reading
something educated, or just looking vague if I had to eat with anyone
else, keeping my head down as I walked through the building. There's a
knack to avoiding people you're sharing a building with, which, like
falling off a bicycle, is something you never quite manage to forget.
Just the day before, I'd wandered downstairs for a drink and on my way
back upstairs to snuggle into my nice lovely bed, guilt-free lazing,
when I spotted Henry and Remy in the hall. I really like my boss, but
there's something just wrong about having to face up to him on my
morning off. Plus, then I'd think of something I should get done over
the weekend, and since the lab was just downstairs, I'd end up doing it.
So, with lightness of feet I raced up the staircase and with heaviness
and lack of elastics my pyjama pants stayed at the same level. It was
only after five steps, when the waist was around my ankles, that I
realised. Naturally, by this time, the two men were at the bottom of
the stairs. I cursed the Lord that I wasn't wearing underwear under the
flannelette pyjamas and without pausing, or bending over, so my top
covered as much of my butt as possible, I squatted and tugged the pants
up and continued running all the way to my bedroom.
There are some battles it is best to just run away from.
The moral of that particular story is that you should always, always
wear underwear. And when your PJ elastic goes, toss them.
Anyway, I wasn't going to tell this story to Bobby to prove my point.
If Henry or Remy hadn't told him about my mooning them, I certainly
wasn't. And from the look on Bobby's face, he just did not understand
why his friends got me down so bad.
I finished off my banana. Sometimes there's nothing else a girl can do.
This is just to explain to myself what I'm doing.
The X-gene is actually a load of crock. It should be referred to as the
X-promoter region. Apparently, mutant powers occur when a particular
area of genome that, according to conventional genome-mapping wisdom is
'junk DNA' undergoes a particular series of mutations, making it into a
A promoter region is the bit of DNA before the bit that codes for the
gene, like the pre-game show at a football game. The promoter of a gene
is the switch that turns on the reading of the gene. This X-Gene junk
DNA is kinda conserved (the same a lot of the time though out the
population) however there is quite a few 'hot spots' for mutations
(changes), which is why there are so many different kinds of mutants.
There are a couple of theories about how exactly that region after the
promoter works, either straight out, or as a superregulator (regulates
all sorts of other things) itself. Research essentially is six of one
and half a dozen of the other. Scientists, bah, they have to make things
(Of course everyone has the variations, so that makes everyone mutants,
in that way, it's just that not everyone has that promoter region
switched on, only the 'Homo superior' or whatever psuedo scientific term
that Magneto dude is using this week. Don't get me started.)
That's what the whole 'Mutants' thing is about. What Legacy does, we
think (see that? 'we think' as in Dr McTaggert, Dr McCoy and me! Talk
about big-head time), is that Legacy, as do most viruses, inserts its
DNA into the DNA of the host. What it does that affects mutants, is
that it inserts this DNA into that promoter region. Bad news for
mutants, because they've got the region, otherwise they wouldn't BE
mutants, and of little interest to 'normal' (I hate that word) humans.
I'll come back to Legacy-3 later.
Unfortunately for all those paranoids out there, diseases aren't 'out to
get us'. In fact it's considered a bad thing to kill your host, because
then you die too. However Legacy does something not good. It inserts
itself into the off-switch of the promoter. (Okay, I didn't mention
this, but there is also an inhibitor region within the promoter, which
is similar to many other inhibitor sequences. It is the regulatory bit,
the off-switch. Henry says that he thinks that without the inhibitor
region the foetal mutant is automatically aborted, probably before the
mother is aware that she's pregnant. ?Could explain the world-wide drop
in birth-rates? Think about this one later.)
However, the virus screws up the inhibitor. It does this one cell at a
time, one copy of the 'X-gene' at a time, so the affects aren't felt at
first. Then, as the number of copies increases, it starts inserting
itself into other places in the genome, other related inhibitor regions
in particular, preventing the transcription of DNA. This means that
cells can't produce proteins or produces too much, can't reproduce
properly, and can't function. This will mean death in short order.
However, in some cases people live longer. This is where it all gets a
bit more tricky. This is also where the different strains, as if one
type was not bad enough, come in. Legacy-1 is the one mentioned above.
Legacy-2 is a slightly different creature. It was actually designed to
insert into a different bit of the inhibitor and is a lot more specific
to the so-called X-gene.
From what I've picked up, someone designed this disease, and I'd like to
shake their hand then shove a white-hot poker up their arse for it.
Legacy-2 is a charming variation that targets this specific region and
is slow-replicating. There is the possibility that it can sit dormant
in host-cells for a while too. Together these features mean slow,
painful, power-screwed death to the host. This is the 'chronic' strain.
Legacy-3 is the bastard child of Legacy-1, really. At some point, the
gene has undergone enough selective pressure to no longer need the
presence of the X-promoter off-switch to replicate. So, humans can get
it. However, this version isn't as virulent as the normal form, and, if
my little bit of data is correct, it actually inserts sections of
promoter-like sequence into the genome, as well as mucking up the
cell-replication and function. Kinda like a DIY mutation kit. There
aren't many cases of it, however, and it's slow working, so we don't
know exactly what will happen.
What I'm doing is looking at that region, and from samples taken over
time, working out what the effect on the DNA sequence of it is. And
hopefully doing some other bits and pieces to help with the things Henry
is doing. At least that bit won't be quite as repetitive as all that
bloody sequencing. Who said science wasn't dull?
Hank looked up as Naomi walked into the office from the corridor, not
from the lab. She'd gone to cadge a lift from someone to the shops at
lunchtime, so she could restock the office-fridge with the required
She didn't look happy though. Hank tilted his head to the side and
looked carefully. Sheepish, even. She held the shopping bag behind her
back, and smiled nervously at him.
"Um, Henry, you know how I was going shopping for twinkies?" she
Hank felt his eyes widen. "You did say that, yes."
"We-ell, there's a sad story about your twinkies," she said, then groped
behind her, and pulled out a half-kilo bag of M&Ms. She lay them down
carefully on the office desk beside him. Hank looked at it. There was
something very untwinkie-like about the packet.
"How sad, exactly?" he asked, helplessly.
Naomi gave this careful consideration, her hands still clasped behind
her back. "More annoying than sad, I guess. You see, I was going to
get the twinkies. I was walking towards the Twinkie-section, when this
little voice called out. 'Hey! You!' it called." Naomi paused, Hank
could see her measuring his expression with her eyes. He nodded, unable
to resist curiosity, and she continued.
"So, I look around and there's no one there. But there's still
this little voice. 'You wanna buy me, dontcha?' I quietly asked who
it was and the voice got all pissed off. 'What are ya, deaf? I'm the
M&M's, stupid.' Now, I don't take crap from candy, so I turned to
go, but they kept talking really fast so I wouldn't escape, I guess.
'Come on, you know you wanna eat M&Ms. Yummy chocolate'. But I wasn't
having any of that crap. 'I've gotta get twinkies for my boss' I said
firmly. Of course this pack of M&Ms was experienced. You know
how they get."
Hank nodded wordlessly, since this seemed to be expected.
"So, it said 'Look, you don't want that gooey stuff. I'm much
better. I crunch.' I didn't think this was very good logic and told
it so. It wouldn't shut up, and it kept coaxing, and saying things
like different coloured junk-food was good for you. I wasn't having
none of that, and then, would you believe, it turned on the emotion.
'No one wants to buy me!' it sobbed, so loudly it was attracting attention,
'No one cares about me at all! They all just want soft creamy filling,
and they just ignore me, neglect me on the shelf and walk over to
get those horrible blocks of chocolate, which are boring or
cakey-things which are stodgy. And I'm left, all on my own.' In the
end I had to buy the damn packet didn't I? I mean, everyone was looking
at me like I was kicking a puppy as this pack of M&M's sobbed at me."
Hank thought about this. "I guess you couldn't leave it there," he
said. Then he added plaintively, "But didn't the twinkies talk to you
Naomi took a step back. "Of course not. Twinkies can't talk." And with
that, she'd gone again.
Later that afternoon, Naomi snuck the five packs of twinkies she'd
bought into the office fridge. Hank had gone out for some fresh air and
a drink with Bobby. Mission accomplished.
Feedback would be much appreciated. Tell me if you think I should stop
the Story of Naomi or not.
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